G’day! Many have been asking me about the process to obtain the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) to Australia so I’ve decided to write this post with a step-by-step guide. It is quite a straightforward process, and as long as you meet ALL the requirements stated in the Australian Embassy website, you have a high chance of getting your visa! Take note that there are only 500 places every year for Singaporeans.
I will not be covering on why you should go for this Work and Holiday Visa, as I can go on forever on this. Each and everyone of you will have your own reasons why that sound in the back of your mind is screaming ‘Yes, I just HAVE to apply for this working holiday!’. This visa is a great opportunity for those who want to travel, and at the same time legally be able to work and earn to support yourself. It will definitely allow you to gain insights to the lifestyle and culture of Australia, and you will probably return with a different, fresh and new perspective of everyday life. Personally, I got to know about the working holiday visa (WHV) even before my graduation from college and the only place for Singaporeans on a WHV was New Zealand. And when the golden opportunity for a WHV appeared in August to a favourite country of mine – Aussie, I jumped at that opportunity.
So now, this is an ultimate guide for you out there to obtain that Work and Holiday Visa to Australia for an adventure of a lifetime!
These websites below will be your best friend. All the information that you need are all here, and please do your own research as well! I find the FAQs at the embassy site pretty useful, but if you still have enquiries you can contact the VFS helpline at 6224 1732 or email them. They will reply to your queries pretty quick, albeit short answers.
- Australian Government DIBP https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/462-
- VFS Singapore http://www.vfsglobal.com/australia/singapore/
- Information on panel physicians and police checks http://www.border.gov.au/Lega/Lega/Help/Location/singapore
I think the most important thing is to ensure you have all the necessary documentations for your application, and that all the requirements are met. The following below are the requirements, from the Australian DIBP website:
- are at least 18 but have not turned 31 years of age at the time you lodge your application
- have a valid passport from a country involved in the Work and Holiday program with Australia
- will not have a dependent child with you while you are in Australia
- have enough money to support yourself on a working holiday (about AUD 5000)
- have enough money to buy a return or onward travel ticket at the end of your stay
- have not previously entered Australia on a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) – take note that 417 and 462 are different
- meet character and health requirements
- are a genuine visitor.
- meet the educational requirements
- have functional English
So did you meet all the criteria? SWEET! Next, find out when is the next opening window for applications. The application window opens quarterly. For this year, the first round of application was on 1 August 2017, and the second one opened in 2 October 2017, and next on 2 January 2018!
This is the general flow of your WHV application.
- Preparation of documents, forms and payment
Fill up your Form 1208, prepare ALL your necessary documents and set aside the application fee of 440AUD (SGD 484) and another SGD45 for biometrics fee. Below are the documents that you will need (taken from the Australian Government DIBP site). You will also need to print a “checklist” that you can find on the site, and ensure that you have all of the documents required before you attend your appointment.
- Booking an appointment on the VFS Singapore website
On the application day, go to VFS Singapore website at http://www.vfsglobal.com/australia/singapore/index.html and register for a new account. You can do this before the application window opens. Then, book an appointment on your preferred date. You can book a slot from the following day and there are only 4 slots per day when I applied (8AM, 9AM, 10AM, 11AM).
- Attend the appointment that you have booked on the VFS website
Ensure all your forms, documents and payment are ready on the day of your appointment. You will also need to bring your original passport, NRIC and birth certificate (if you want). You don’t have to arrive there too early, otherwise you will have to wait till 10 minutes before your appointment time. The VFS staff there will go through with you all the documents, one by one. After making your payment of application fee and biometrics fee, you will then take your biometrics in another room. *Please take note that NETS is not available, so you can only bring cash! This whole process only takes 15 minutes of less, after you take your biometrics, you’re done!
- Go for a health check-up at one of the approved clinics
You will receive an email for the embassy to inform you to go for your health check-up and obtain your COC (see point 5). I received the email the day after my VFS appointment, booked an appointment with SATA Commhealth Medical Centre at Ang Mo Kio, and went for my check-up. It consists of a general health examination and chest X-ray and costs about $150-$200 (I can’t remember the exact amount again). If you can attend the morning slot, it will be slightly cheaper. Once you are done with the check-up, you won’t need to submit anything, as the clinic will submit the health report to the embassy.
Here are the approved panel physicians (from DIBP website)
- SATA Commhealth Ang Mo Kio Medical Centre (6244 6688)
- SATA Commhealth Bedok Medical Centre
- Point Medical Group (6235 2343)
- Radlink Diagnostic Imaging Pte Ltd (6836 0808)
- Book and attend a slot at Singapore Police Force to get your Certificate of Clearance (COC)
This step will take the longest! But don’t worry, patience is virtue. 😀 Book a slot at the website here and make payment of $55 to obtain your COC. For some people, you may have to wait one month before there is an available slot. Again (yes more bookings and appointments) attend your slot to take your fingerprints, and you may receive your COC. Otherwise, you have to go down to SPF again to collect your COC.
Once you have your COC, you will need to submit the original COC to either the Australia Embassy in Singapore at 25 Napier Road (24-hour drop-off box), VFS office or mail it. You’re almost there!
For enquiries pertaining to this, you can contact them at SPF_CID_COC@spf.gov.sg or call them.
- Wait for your email from the Aussie Embassy with your Work and Holiday Visa! 😀
Visa processing time is about 12 to 30 days. Others may get it earlier, or later. And for some people, the Aussie Embassy may email you to request for further evidence or documentations, or even an interview. I’ve received information that if you studied in Australia before, you may need an extra Police Check from Australia, which takes about two weeks.
To recap, these are the fees needed for the overall application.
|Application Fee||AUD440 / $484|
|Medical health-check up||About $150|
|Certificate of Clearance application||$55|
So what’s next?
Once you’ve obtained your visa letter, congratulations! Your next step is to decide when you want to embark on your adventure, as the WHV lasts for one year. Also, this visa is an electronic one, and multi-entry, meaning you are allowed to enter and leave Australia as many times as you like, until your visa expires. If you’ve obtained your visa, you can email me your number and I will add you to the WHV to Aussie for Singaporeans WhatsApp group to share tips and help each other out etc! I’m also in the WHV to NZ for Singaporeans WhatsApp group, and the members really share informative tips, facts, job opening, selling of their cars in NZ and many can ask questions there. There is also a Facebook group which you can join here.
In my next few posts, I will be covering on what you need to do before you fly and essentially how to start planning for your trip! This will entail health insurance (very important!), research for jobs, packing your backpack, what you need to do when you arrive (TFN number, Bank account, SIM card, superannuation) and yessss….cars. Can’t wait for the day when I purchase my very first car (bucket list).
Thanks for reading. See you at the other side and happy travels! x
Disclaimer: I will definitely try my best to provide up-to-date information, and reliance upon the information provided by this website is solely at your own risk.